We’ve famously been told that the Department of Health & Human Services has no Plan B. But what if the Supreme Court forces the executive branch’s hand? Yes, there’ll be plenty of finger-pointing and demagoguery as a high-stakes game of chicken unfolds among the White House, Congress, and various state governments. But what could Obama/HHS do? Remember, this is the president who has a pen and a phone, and “if Congress won’t act, I will.”
The running joke is that HHS/IRS will simply promulgate another rule deeming all federal exchanges to be state exchanges. But that couldn’t possibly be the answer, could it?
Among presidents in modern times, Barack Obama stands apart in the intensity of his remarks on Supreme Court cases, a soon-to-be published article in Presidential Studies Quarterly concluded.
Mr. Obama added a new data point on Monday, saying at a news conference that “under well-established precedent, there is no reason” the administration should lose a challenge to the Affordable Care Act pending before the court.
The Obama administration is doubling down on the Affordable Care Act this week, as a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could dismantle the plan looms in the near future.
In a contentious House Committee on Ways and Means, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said President Barack Obama will not consider any GOP proposals to strike down the law’s insurance mandates.
Burwell acknowledged, however, that the administration would rely on Congress for a fix.
House Republicans sent a clear signal Wednesday that they wouldn’t preserve the health law in its current form if the Supreme Court guts a key provision, and the Obama administration responded with equal clarity that the states and Congress would be the ones responsible for resolving any fallout.
GOP legislators and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell set out their messages at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing Wednesday, during a week in which both sides are fine-tuning their strategies on the case.
The Obama administration’s top health care official said Wednesday that if the Supreme Court stopped the payment of health insurance subsidies to millions of Americans, it would be up to Congress and state officials to devise a solution.
“The critical decisions will sit with Congress and states and governors,” Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the secretary of health and human services, said at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee.
If the Supreme Court rules against the government in King v. Burwell, insurance subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will evaporate in the thirty-four states that have refused to establish their own health-care exchanges. The pain could be felt within weeks. Without subsidies, an estimated eight or nine million people stand to lose their health coverage. Because sicker people will retain coverage at a much higher rate than healthier people, insurance premiums in the individual market will surge by as much as fifty percent.
President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that his 5-year-old health care law is firmly established as the “reality” of health care in America, even as he awaits a Supreme Court ruling that could undermine it.
“This is now part of the fabric of how we care for one another,” he said.
Obama defended the health care overhaul during an address to the Catholic Health Association Conference in Washington, just days ahead of an anticipated decision by the Supreme Court that could eliminate health care for millions of people.
Obama poked fun at opponents who have issued “unending Chicken Little warnings” about what would happen if the law passed. None of those predictions have come true, Obama argued.
President Obama reentered the political battle over healthcare Tuesday, delivering an extended defense of the Affordable Care Act as the Supreme Court prepares to issue its ruling on a case that could strip away health insurance from millions of Americans.
Every day there seems to be another article focused on how many individuals might lose their subsidies if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case.
Yet, an even bigger group of individuals harmed by Obamacare has an equally good claim for relief that hasn’t gotten as much attention—the people who, thanks to Obamacare, must pay more for health insurance but who never got subsidies.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday declined to discuss the details of a Republican backup plan for ObamaCare, saying that the party will be ready if the Supreme Court rules against the healthcare law.
“We’ll have a plan that makes sense for the American people,” the Republican leader said during an interview with The Joe Elliott Show. “If the plaintiff is successful it will require some addressing of the issue, and if that were to happen we’ll be ready to announce our proposal.”
The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision this month in the King v. Burwell case, which could cancel subsidies for millions of Americans who are enrolled through the federal website HealthCare.gov.